Innovative Practice 2017 on Employment, Work and Vocational Education and Training

Persons with intellectual disabilities working as university lecturers

The Drachensee Foundation runs an Inclusive Education project whereby people with disabilities become qualified to work as university lecturers on the topic of disabilities. The student lecturers, called education specialists, receive their training the Institut für Inklusive Bildung gemeinnützige GmbH, part of the Christian-Albrechts-Universität in Kiel, Germany.

“We provide unique knowledge that no one else has, and can best tell what it is like to live with a disability. This allows us to overcome prejudices and break down barriers.”

Laura Schwörer Educational Specialist, Institute for Inclusive Education
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Persons with intellectual disabilities working as university lecturers
Organisation:Institut für Inklusive Bildung gemeinnützige GmbH and Drachensee Foundation
of Implementation


    • Jobs created in 2016: 5 (courses initially started with six students, but one dropped out due to personal reasons)


Universities teach about people with disabilities, but they do not do so with disabled people themselves. People with intellectual disabilities are almost totally excluded from the university education system.


The Institut für Inklusive Bildung (Institute for Inclusive Education) qualifies people with intellectual disabilities and provides them with job opportunities, mostly teaching about the specific requirements of people with intellectual disabilities. Following an intensive three-year seminar (2013 to 2016), the first graduates will start their teaching job as education specialist (Bildungsfachkraft) at the University of Kiel in the fall of 2016.

Inklusion Bildung; Vorlesung; Audimax; Europa Universitaet; Flensburg; Aktion Mensch;

They will teach regular seminars, special coursework, and hold lectures. Moreover, they will teach in high schools, speak at conferences, and conduct workshops. They will work independently, and will plan and conduct their teaching job in an autonomous way.


The overall cost for the five participants over the three years of course work was €360,000 per year. The institute has contacts to more than 25 third-level education facilities in Germany and abroad to further promote the issue.3 Reschat with Professor Klein and Ms Fey
In the long run, the institute seeks to educate and graduate 30 to 35 such educational specialists. The model of the Institut für Inklusive Bildung is receiving more attention each year. During approximately 40 public lectures, more than 2,000 people came into direct contact with the topic. In addition, a study group promoted this theme in the United Kingdom, and media coverage has further increased public awareness of the project.

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